Peter White’s first inkling to pursue a career in golf course management came when he was 15 and landed a job at a Worcester, Mass. course. His career choice brought him to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst where he majored in turfgrass management and is now on track to graduate in May 2013 with a bachelor of science degree, with a plant, insect, and soil sciences major.
His plans to find a job in New England were upended this summer when he received a scholarship to work and study abroad. He was dispatched to the peninsula of Kintyre, Scotland, where he worked at the Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, one of the world’s few golf courses built with minimum disruption to the environment. “I had never imagined being able to travel outside of the country to work on a golf course,” says White. He is the first recipient of the Geoffrey and Carol Cornish Fund for Enhanced Learning Opportunities. The late Geoffrey Cornish ’50, ’87H was a celebrated golf course architect who designed more than 250 golf courses worldwide and wrote several textbooks on golf course construction.
White’s award covered travel expenses, housing, and a stipend for working and learning for three months at the 18-hole course on the shores of the Atlantic. He says he gained experience in sustainable management of the greens. “My internship taught me how to grows grass in an environmentally responsible way, but also how to adapt to a new system and culture,” says White, who comes from Worcester, Mass., and earned a Stockbridge School degree in turfgrass management in 2011. White, president of the UMass Amherst Turf Club, says the internship combined with his UMass education will create employment opportunities.
Scott Edbon, Stockbridge School faculty member, says, “The opportunity for our students to participate in an international internship program specific to the turfgrass management major will not only enhance the education of our students but further strengthen the Stockbridge School for its excellence in education.”